The Auto Industry and NHTSA Clash with California and the EPA Over Mileage Standards
When lobbyists for the auto industry went looking for a lowering of mpg standards set by the Obama administration they found a sympathetic ear in the Trump White House. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is contemplating reducing mileage standards for 2026 by over 10 miles per gallon from 46.6 mpg to 35.7.
President Obama envisioned that by 2030 61% of vehicles sold in the US would be electric or hybrid. Under President Trump, the NHTSA places that number at 10 percent. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration document outlines a variety of means by which mileage standards might be eased, but nothing is set in stone. One suggestion is that 2021 standards be extended five years to give manufacturers more time to develop vehicles that comply with the new mileage requirements.
Meanwhile, the auto industry’s pleas have set the NHTSA at odds with California and the EPA over what lower mileage standards will mean to the environment. If standards are lowered the Golden State has vowed to defy the Trump administration and set its own standards.
As of February 10th, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) had not seen any specific proposals from the current administration. A spokesperson stated that CARB will keep mum on the subject until it does.
California stands by its conviction that more EVs on the roads are essential to the future. Speaking on behalf of the Administrative Review Board (ARB) Stanley Young stressed the benefits to the climate and peoples’ health and finances.